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USCCB files brief in HHS mandate case, warns against 'unimpeded' government power

January 13, 2016

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), joined by several other organizations, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in several HHS mandates that are before the Supreme Court.

“These cases involve a government mandate that faith-based organizations, over their religious objections, take actions to ensure that their employees can obtain payments for contraceptives and sterilization,” the brief stated. “If the petitioners abide by their religious beliefs, they face the loss of the ability to sponsor health coverage for their employees and millions of dollars in fines, threatening financial ruin. No one benefits from such an outcome—not the organizations, their donors, their clients, or their employees.”

“To accept the principle advanced by the government in these cases is to hold that government has virtually unimpeded power to force faith-based organizations to violate their conscience as a condition for performing their charitable work,” the brief continued. “To deter or prevent such work by attaching conditions of the sort the government has imposed in these cases would seriously harm the public good.”

The USCCB general counsel added:

Finally, this Court should reject the mischaracterization that petitioners have been required to sign “just a form.” History is replete with instances in which an individual went to his or her death to avoid committing an act objectionable to the individual on religious grounds, though thought by others to be innocuous. The petitioners object not to what the government does, but to what they themselves have been required to do by the government.

In filing the brief, the bishops’ conference was joined by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, the Family Research Council, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Thomas More Society, and the Cardinal Newman Society.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jan. 13, 2016 9:40 PM ET USA

    Oh USCCB, how sluggish to rouse! If you know the Campaign for Human Development, you know ACORN. If you know ACORN, you know the Archdiocese of Chicago. If you know the Archdiocese of Chicago, you know Saul Alinsky. If you know Saul Alinsky, you know Ms. Hilary and Mr. Barack. If you know and love Mr. Barack, you should have known his politics. He entered the public arena in 2004. It was then that he proclaimed his plans for America. His ascendancy was certain. Why pretend astonishment now?